A generous gift of $500,000 from Jack Miller of Lincolnshire, Illinois, the founder and president of Quill Corporation, will be used to launch a concerted effort by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago to investigate the basic biology of peripheral neuropathy and to search for better treatments and a cure for this common nerve disorder.
The gift will fund two, two-year research fellowships for young neuroscientists, providing them with laboratory equipment and clinical resources. One of the investigators will concentrate on the basic science of peripheral neuropathy and the other will perform clinical studies involving this disease.
It will also support the establishment of a specialty clinic to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for people with peripheral neuropathy. The clinic, expected to begin operation in January of 2000, will include neurologists, an expert in orthotics and a physical therapist.
"Peripheral neuropathy is a neglected and frequently misdiagnosed nerve disorder," said Raymond Roos, M.D., professor and chairman of neurology at the University of Chicago, and one of relatively few neurologists considered an authority on this disease.
"Because the causes are so varied, and are often not known, and because it is frequently a symptom of some better-researched or 'more glamorous' disease, it hasn't received the attention it deserves. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of patients in this country who suffer because of the discomfort and disability associated with this disease, and our inadequate treatments for their problem."